The Lantern

A Strategic Great Commission Plan

The 10 “Musts”

I have long believed that every church committed to the Great Commission would do well to prayerfully develop a strategic kingdom plan for learning with, growing together, and serving alongside the Body of Jesus Christ in China and the Chinese diaspora. Chinese people make up 17% of the world’s population. There are 1.4 billion people living in China and an estimated 60 million make up the Chinese diaspora worldwide. Even if, as so many believe, there are 100 million Christ-followers in the PRC, 1.3 billion people of Chinese descent still have not encountered Immanuel. 

In her article “Is God Colorblind or Colorful? The Gospel, Globalization and Ethnicity,” Miriam Adeney1 offers “Ten Ways to Build Multi-Ethnic Bridges Between Churches:”

  1. Welcome. We must welcome people of other cultures who want to join our church, and if they so desire, we must help them create niches where they can worship in familiar ways.

  2. Teach. We must teach, over and over, the contrasting biblical truths of unity and creativity.

  3. Pray. We must pray with each other regularly across ethnic boundaries.

  4. Evangelize. We must work together in culturally-relevant local evangelism.

  5. Nurture.  We must work together with ethnic churches in our community to nurture the youth, while encouraging the youth to maintain pride in their heritage.

  6. Repent.  We must repent of hegemonic dominance or neglect on one side, and of resentment or dependency on the other.

  7. Link. We must designate a member to be a “culture broker” who links our congregation with specific churches of other heritage in our community, and who holds the church members accountable for maintaining faithful relationships of depth and substance.

  8. Invest.  We must invest time and money sacrificially and risk ourselves emotionally in strong partnership and exchange patterns.

  9. Build Leaders. We must work together in culturally-relevant leadership training and publishing of useful materials. 

  10. Learn. We must be ready to learn from each other, believing that the word of the Lord may come to us through people very different from ourselves.

Of course, Miriam Adeney’s “ten ways” or “musts” refers to bridge building between churches of any ethnicity. However, for those leaders of churches and organizations sensing God guiding them to grow, learn, and serve together with the Chinese church, these are timely and relevant guideposts. 

We are looking forward to serving with you for God’s glory and kingdom advance in 2024!

Kerry Schottelkorb

Ways to Pray

  • As we enter 2024, praise the Lord with us for his loving provision through steadfast ChinaSource friends and partners. Please see “Beginning 2024 with Gratitude.”
  • Praise the Lord that in the face of adversity there are many in China whose resolve remains unshaken and whose faith grows increasingly stronger. For one example, read “The Price of Discipleship.”
  • Please pray for those who are committed to engaging Chinese Muslims by “building relationships through intentional, informal, and interactive conversations.” Pray that the Holy Spirit will cover and favor those conversations. Learn more by reading “Engaging with Chinese Muslims, Part 1: The Woman at the Well as a Model for Evangelism” by Jeferson Chagas.
  • Please pray for believers in China who have experienced severe trauma, to bring their pain and sorrow to Jesus and know healing in him, by the Holy Spirit, and with the support and encouragement of a loving community. Check out “Taking Our Pain to the Cross,” by Laura Yang, for one woman’s story of doing exactly that.
  • “In 2024, let’s pray for the Holy Spirit’s reviving work among us so we may see relational restoration…. take place in our ministry contexts.” See “Reconciling a Church Split,” by Jolene Kinser.

News and Notes

Online Event

At the invitation of our friends at ERRChina, Joann Pittman will be leading online book club discussion of Jennifer Lin’s book Shanghai Faithful: Betrayal and Forgiveness in a Chinese Family

Through the 150-year saga of a single family, this book vividly dramatizes the remarkable religious evolution of the world’s most populous nation. Shanghai Faithful is both a touching family memoir and a chronicle of the astonishing spread of Christianity in China. Five generations of the Lin family—buffeted by history’s crosscurrents and personal strife—bring to life an epoch that is still unfolding. 

Wednesday, January 31, 2024
5pm PST / 7pm CST / 8pm EST
Online, via Zoom

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  1. Miriam Adeney, “Is God Colorblind or Colorful? The Gospel, Globalization and Ethnicity,” in Perspectives on the World Christian Movement: A Reader, ed. Ralph D. Winter, Steven C. Hawthorne (Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 2009), 419.
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ChinaSource Team

ChinaSource Team

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